Dubbed the ‘Norway of Arabia’ owing to its extensive fjord-like craggy inlets and spectacular mountainscapes, Musandam is today considered one of the world’s hidden treasures.
To change that and attract tourists from around the world, the authorities in the peninsula are drafting proposals to develop projects and open investment opportunities in the governorate. Known for its unique diving locations among several other natural wonders, the focus of the development, according to the authorities, will be on eco and adventure tourism.
To attract investors, owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and encourage tourism investment, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (OCCI) branch in Musandam recently organised a virtual workshop. It was held in cooperation with the Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-Up Unit and the Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Riyada).
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Raed bin Mohammed al Shehhi, chairman of OCCI’s branch in Musandam, informed that during the workshop the Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-Up Unit provided an overview of Musandam’s development projects and presented ideas and investment opportunities in the governorate.
“The team emphasised that the unit’s strategic goal is to increase the number of visitors to the governorate with a focus on eco and adventure tourism, increasing returns on the use of port facilities and services in the governorate and targeting investors and owners of SMEs,” Shehhi said.
“The opportunities are in the field of adventure and ecotourism, such as cave exploration, construction of water chalets, establishing coral islands, creating relaxation areas on beaches, and private places for barbecue near the sea.
The investment opportunities will be enabled through integrated infrastructure, tax exemptions, incentives and procedural facilities, in addition to marketing and promotion inside and outside the country in cooperation with the public and private sectors and a number of local community members.
Musandam’s renowned natural features include the creeks Najd, Shamm, Al Hablain and Ghab Ali. Besides diverse formations of coastal rocks, there are many islands scattered across the governorate, such as Al Teer and the famous Telegraph Island. Among its beaches, Qada, Mokhi, Bassa, Hyout and Hill are big draw for tourists. The Jebel Hareem, the tallest mountain – 2,087m – in Musandam is also a major attraction. In 2019, as many as 332,489 tourists and 72 cruise ships visited the governorate.